Why You Should Actually Participate In Facebook’s Transformation Challenge

June 23, 2016  |  

 

then and now

I don’t often participate in Facebook’s “challenges.” Mostly because the word challenge is misused. It’s basically just an opportunity for people to either brag about their life or give the people they know a chance to brag about what they know of their life. You’ve seen them, the people of Facebook created the one where women in relationships were challenged to celebrate their men. There are the ones that ask your friends to share their first memory of you. There are challenge where you reveal 25 things no one knew about you (which I did participate in) and one where you have a dollar and have to “buy” the relationship characteristics you want your partner to have.

This is no shade or judgement. I do enjoy reading most of them. But these days, I mostly use Facebook to talk about news and ideas.

But there was one particular on I kept seeing pop up on my newsfeed that caught my attention. It’s this Transformation Challenge, likely known by a couple of different names. For this one you’re supposed to compare you first profile picture with your current one. Perhaps the initial goal of the challenge was to see how much you’d changed physically. But the more it started spreading, the more people thought about the mental, emotional, and psychological changes that had taken place as well.

And while I had seen the pictures compared side by side with one another, it was this deeper level of introspection and authenticity that appealed to me. I thought about my own two pictures, vowing to compare them in my head before I wrote a post about them.

When I did, I recognized just how much I had changed, the lessons I had learned. And I realized that was indeed worth sharing.

So here’s mine.

For some reason, Facebook doesn’t record this as my first profile picture. But I know it was because this was taken by my sister Vanessa during my college orientation. A couple months later, when she and my parents left me in Missouri, it was her who told me it was time to start a Facebook page; something I had been avoiding, and we chose this picture. I love my before picture because it reminds me of my fear. 

The entire summer before I went off to school I was so nervous that I lost my appetite. I ate but, literally for three straight months, I was never hungry. It got so crazy that I had an endoscopy to make sure that I was ok. Nothing was wrong with me, physically. I was just so mentally preoccupied that food became obsolete. The mind is strong, y’all. 

This second picture was taken, five years after I graduated college, right outside of the office of what was my dream job, where I’m still employed. I still love the actual work of the job but when you get what you want, you see things you never considered. Aside from the makeup, locs, and accessories, the woman on the left is more confident and able to stand on her own. (The day this before picture was taken, my sister informed the family that she was my crutch. Facts.) And this woman on the left is a LOT less scared. There are very few things I fear now, very few. I arrived at this place mostly because the woman on the right learned that God’s got her. There’s something about being away from home, away from familiar that causes you to rely on God in different and new ways. And that’s when things start really poppin’! 

(And on another, entirely different note, I want to make it perfectly clear that I’m not bleaching. Lighting, photo retouching, and time of year make a huge difference. So y’all think about that when you accuse Beyoncé of whitewashing.)

What I found most inspiring is that my words, my journey were able to help some of the people who read it. And that’s pretty cool. I encourage you all, not necessarily to take part in this challenge, but do look at the two pictures and think about how far you’ve come.

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